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Telemed J E Health. 2006 Dec;12(6):663-71.

An examination of quality of life of children and parents during their Tele-Homecare experience.

Author information

1
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario. nyoung@laurentian.ca

Abstract

Video-conferencing and remote vital signs monitors were used to provide Tele-HomeCare (THC) to children with complex healthcare needs. This paper reports the effects of THC on the health-related quality of life (QoL) of children and their parents, and the Impact on Families (IoF). A total of 63 children and their parents were enrolled in a THC trial in which they received traditional home care services and up to 6 weeks of THC. A reference group of 16 children and their parents was also recruited and received only traditional home care services. All parents completed QoL questionnaires for both their child and themselves, and the IoF scale. Complete data were available for 50 THC participants: 34 of these had no readmissions and 16 experienced multiple admissions. The reference group contained 10 participants who received standard community care. All three groups experienced similar improvements in quality of life at the time of their discharge to home after which their QoL remained stable. There were no significant differences in the IoF scores. THC is an effective clinical service that supports the transition from hospital to home at a time when the children continued to have complex care needs. Furthermore, improvements in QoL were observed for these families that were similar to those of families whose children had less intensive care needs. Moreover, the improvements were sustained beyond the termination of the THC service and were not associated with additional burden on families.

PMID:
17250488
DOI:
10.1089/tmj.2006.12.663
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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